My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Time taken to read - 4 days (on and off)
Publisher - NAL
Pages - 512
Blurb from Goodreads
From the New York Times bestselling author of No Safe House comes an explosive novel about the disturbing secrets of a quiet small town.…
After his wife’s death and the collapse of his newspaper, David Harwood has no choice but to uproot his nine-year-old son and move back into his childhood home in Promise Falls, New York. David believes his life is in free fall, and he can’t find a way to stop his descent.
Then he comes across a family secret of epic proportions. A year after a devastating miscarriage, David’s cousin Marla has continued to struggle. But when David’s mother asks him to check on her, he’s horrified to discover that she’s been secretly raising a child who is not her own—a baby she claims was a gift from an “angel” left on her porch.
When the baby’s real mother is found murdered, David can’t help wanting to piece together what happened—even if it means proving his own cousin’s guilt. But as he uncovers each piece of evidence, David realizes that Marla’s mysterious child is just the tip of the iceberg.
Other strange things are happening. Animals are found ritually slaughtered. An ominous abandoned Ferris wheel seems to stand as a warning that something dark has infected Promise Falls. And someone has decided that the entire town must pay for the sins of its past…in blood.
The first in a new series by Linwood Barclay, David Harwood is going through a tough time, he's lost his job, is living with his parents with his child. His cousin, Marla, has mental health issues and when David drops around he finds her with a baby. Marla has prior for trying to steal a baby so David is concerned. A little bit of digging finds the real mother, murdered and Marla is in a world of trouble. David does a bit of digging and soon discovers there is so much more to this and may have bitten off more than he can chew!
This was a great wee book, I could have read it in a day to be honest, sadly work didn't permit. Anyways, theres a bit of background to start with on the main character David and his family before the whole murder scene unfolds. There are some random happenings throughout as well, animal killings and weird staging of manikins that leads to further developments in the case.
There are lots of twists and turns, secrets, betrayals, violence and murder to name but a few of the things that went on in the tale. It is fast paced, intriguing and draws you right in so you want to know what happened, why, who and don't really want to put it down. There is quite a bit of hinting between the character discussions that they know what has happened however the reader is trying to link and guess at what has transpired.
A strong opening to a new series, I imagine there will be more, there are a few questions left unanswered and I believe this is setting up the next book or books. If I have read this author before it has been a long long time ago, I would certainly read him again and definitely the following in this series, 4/5 for me this time.